In Every Relationship, Seek the Unity that Jesus Won For You at Great Cost to Himself and the Father

In John’s gospel chapter 17 we read Jesus’ prayer on behalf of His disciples and all those who would follow them as saints; perhaps you know it as the high priestly prayer. While praying Jesus petitions the Father to unify those who are His: “Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth…that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:17 & 21).

Physical Unions Explained–Little confusion exists, in the Church, regarding the union of physical bodies.

A Marriage causes the man and woman to become one flesh; “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). To introduce a third party through the act of adultery is a very vile action. Paul taught the churches at Corinth that a Christian’s body is a member of Christ: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, The two shall become one flesh” (1 Corinthians 6:15, 16).

One, the physical bodies of saints are members of Christ. Two, intercourse in marriage makes two bodies one flesh. Three, intercourse outside of marriage makes two bodies one flesh. Conclusion: when the regenerate engage in fornication, adultery and homosexuality they force Christ into their unholy sexual sin. When any married person (regenerate or not) engages in these same sins they commit sin against God and a crime against their spouse. To the saints Paul says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

Spiritual Unions Explained–Much confusion exists, in the Church, regarding the union of spirits.

In like manner, in His prayer, Jesus says, “even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You…” Our Lord states that God the Father and God the Son are one essence or one spirit. Other texts include the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead. Jesus goes on to pray, “that they (regenerate) also may be in Us” [parenthesis ours]. Our Lord, who only spoke words that the Father gave Him to speak, petitioned the Father to bring all the elect into the unity that the three persons of the Godhead enjoyed. This prayer of our Lord was granted by the Father as Paul informs the saints, “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Therefore, if it is a vile action to commit physical adultery, then to bring Satan or an unregenerate person into this spiritual union is significantly more vile as the spirit is greater than the body.

So then, since God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the saints are all one spirit, then a microcosm of this unity exists when brothers and sisters in Christ are bound together as soul mates, spouses, best mates, business partners, fellow ministers, etc. “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). However, whenever a saint is bound together with an unregenerate person, then they are guilty of an unholy, spiritual union more vile than physical adultery.

What is to be done? Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). When saints are unequally yoked the sword of Christ separates these unions. How? Saints and worldlings are ill fit for one another. Jesus warned believers, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:18-19). The “sword of Christ” is a natural process. Saints and the “natural man” are so ill fit for one another that the hatred coming from the natural man causes the broken relationship.

Unfortunately, the doctrinal position of most of the church on marital divorce has forced saints in unequally yoked marriages to rebel against nature and the sword of Christ. These poor brothers and sisters hang on to these vile relationships just like a cowboy hangs on to a raging steer. Marriages often called “unequally yoked” are often not so at all because neither married partner is actually born-again. However, when one of the marriage partners is truly born-again, then that saint, being one with God, must not drag a child of Satan into their union with God.

If this is you, then read the article titled “1 Corinthians 7:12-16 In Context Strengthens the Case for Unequally Yoked Divorce Found In 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.”

Heavenly Father, help these your loved ones find the peace that You intended for them all the while. In the blessed name of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

About Joe Porter

By the abundant lovingkindness and grace of God I have been in Christ for nearly 40 years. I live to love and serve God in whatever capacity He has in mind. And can do no other but to follow my conscience as scripture and reason guide me threw the shadow lands. I raised 5 children one of whom now sees clearly as he walks on streets of gold. God has blessed me after all these years with a godly, prudent wife. I cannot imagine a greater gift on the earth. I have a Masters of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. I own a business in Nebraska, but I live to serve God. I have preached in three different churches for a period of 10 years. I love preaching God's word. Because of my divorce I am not currently serving in any official capacity, but I know that the Lord has a ministry for me. My goal is to write a book on the topic of divorce when unequally yoked, and this blog is a step in that direction. No brother or sister in Christ should divorce their spouse solely upon the advice they find here or anywhere else for that matter. Immerse yourself in God's word, and go before the Lord--wait upon Him and He will make it clear when the time comes that you are called to repent of your unequally yoked marriage. Christ's continued blessings, Joe View all posts by Joe Porter

4 responses to “In Every Relationship, Seek the Unity that Jesus Won For You at Great Cost to Himself and the Father

  • Theodora

    Would, for eg a godly wife who is still in consummation with her unsaved husband committing spiritual necrophilia? She would also be sleeping with the enemy of Christ.

    • Joe Porter

      Theodora,
      We have here a grand example of taking an idea out to an extreme position. Merriam Webster defines necrophilia as an “obsession with and usually erotic interest in or stimulation by corpses.” Being unequally yoked as understood in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 and 2 Corinthians 6:14f is entirely spiritual in nature. One cannot separate the body from the spirit prior to death, but necrophilia is an obsession and erotic interest in corpses. Though the husband in your example would be spiritually dead he is still very much physically alive. To draw a conclusion that necrophilia applies here is an unnecessarily extreme, harsh, wrong and unkind pattern of thinking. A believer is a Christian because God’s grace has been poured out upon them. The apostles greeted the saints in grace and peace. Grace is our entrance into the family of God. Peace is the outcome. If anyone should exhibit grace toward their unbelieving spouse it should be the believer. Yes, we may need to petition our unsaved spouses for divorce, but we must always be gracious in our every dealing with them. It is not they but we who are under the biblical mandate to be bound only to the children of God.

      As for the second statement: “She would also be sleeping with the enemy of Christ” we must say that this is left to the conscience of the believer. It is true that the believer is married to an unbeliever. It is also true that the believer may be sexually intimate with their unbelieving spouse. Technically the wife would be sleeping with an enemy of the cross of Christ, an enemy of Christ Himself. But the church has failed to call these marriages invalid. The Church, by and large, believes that the marriage between a believer and unbeliever is both valid and legitimate. Therefore Christians are instructed to continue in these marriages praying for the regeneration of their spouses. Under this understanding of God’s Word the believer would be sinning if they refused sex with their unbelieving spouse (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). So then, to be gracious toward one another we must encourage every brother and sister in Christ to follow their conscience. It is of utmost importance that our consciences be well informed, but each one must follow their own conscience. The reason we have weaker brethren is due to poorly informed consciences.

      We must also extend grace to the unbelieving spouses of believers. But for the grace of God we would still be in our sins. Finally, once the believer is convicted by the Holy Spirit to not be bound together with an unbeliever they need to graciously importune their unbelieving spouse for a divorce. Christians who have become convinced that God does not want them to continue their unequally yoked marriage feel as though they are having sex with someone who is not their spouse anymore, which is clearly the time to importune the spouse for divorce.

      Be very careful dear sister of the extreme positions when studying God’s Word. Extremes have often been called upon to force people into backing down or changing their view but remember that a person convinced against their will is of the same position still. Extreme positions very rarely exhibit any grace and love.

      Christ’s Continued Blessings,
      Joe

      • Theodora

        Thank you for helping me understand, however I believe you are the one being unkind by attacking my person:
        “To draw a conclusion that necrophilia applies here is an unnecessarily extreme, harsh, wrong and unkind pattern of thinking.”

        “Be very careful dear sister of the extreme positions when studying God’s Word. Extremes have often been called upon to force people into backing down or changing their view but remember that a person convinced against their will is of the same position still. Extreme positions very rarely exhibit any grace and love.”

        Be careful that you do not err into bearing false witness by accusing me of being an extremist, Brother.

      • Joe Porter

        Theodora,
        You ended your email with the following: “Be careful that you do not err into bearing false witness by accusing me of being an extremist, Brother.” Words have meaning. To apply necrophilia to unequally yoked marriage partners is an extreme position. The fact that you asked the question whether or not that is a fair argument does not make you an extremist, nor did I call you one. One does not have to be an advocate of extreme measures or views in order to slip into an extreme thought pattern or idea. And when we do slip into an extreme position we want a brother or sister in Christ to reprove us. You did not hesitate to compare the wife in your example to a necrophiliac and the husband to a corpse, so I thought I would use strong language in my reproof to pull you back away from the edge. Imagine how an unbelieving husband or wife would feel if their believing spouse said, “Making love to you makes me feel like a necrophiliac?” That would be clearly an inaccurate statement (due to the absence of a dead body), an extreme statement, an harsh statement and it is safe to say an unkind statement. But in retrospect I now see that I should have used a more gracious approach, and for my failure here I do apologize. I will try harder in the future to be more gentle and kind.

        Do remember though that adding the suffix “ist” to a word often changes the meaning of the word entirely. People who live in communes are not Communists. People who are easily terrified are not terrorists. Many people are active but they are not activists. People can be sociable without being socialists. We can alarm someone to a danger without being an alarmist. A sad person is entirely different from a sadist. Not all modern people are modernists.

        Thank you for your rebuke,
        Joe

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